The Vancouver Christmas Market is a German-style Christmas market which takes place every November/December until Christmas Eve day at Jack Poole Plaza. Due to the ongoing COVID situation in 2021, pre-purchasing your ticket is recommended, and proof of vaccination is required. Although the initial line-up appeared daunting, I found there was lots of room inside when I visited on a Friday afternoon in November. Staff are checking COVID vaccine cards and bags which can account for the slow-moving line-up.
Nevertheless, given its outdoor location at Coal Harbour, its great food and the Christmas spirit, this is one of the best things to do in Vancouver in December.
Shopping at the Vancouver Christmas Market
When you first walk into the market veer right to experience the Marketplatz which includes charming vendors selling everything from traditional ornaments to ugly Christmas sweaters. One of the highlights here is the Christian Ulbricht Nutcrackers. Christian Ulbricht is a famous German manufacturer of hand-made folk décor.
Unfortunately, the large ornament tent store is not here this year. However, I did see some beautiful handcrafted treasures perfect for gifting, including wooden ornaments, nested dolls, mouth-blown glass and even Middle Eastern style light décor.
Learn more about the vendors on the Vancouver Christmas Market Instagram page.
Of course, there was a vendor selling stollen and other spiced-cake snacks. I might come back closer to the big day for one of these cakes.
The Schnapslplatz is the place for wine, cider and distillery tasting. I enjoyed a variety of bold and tasty ciders from Howling Moon and Dominion Cider Company including ginger, raspberry and pear.
What to eat at the Tannenbaum Terrace
Next up was the centre of all the action, the Tannenbaum Terrace. Here you can purchase mulled cider made with wine from the View Winery served either in a paper cup or a special take-home souvenir mug (for an extra cost). They also had punch for kids.
There were multiple meal, snack and dessert options to suit every taste, including vegan. I had the vegan bratwurst. You can take your food to a heated tent (the “Alpine Lounge”) to eat in comfort. One unique option here was the raclette which is a Swiss-style cheese melted and scraped onto bread or vegetables. There are more treats that you can take home including West Coast Wild Foods mushrooms which helped to give this traditional fair a distinctly coastal vibe.
Walk through “Lover’s Lane,” a typical Insta-inspired light tunnel to return to the market entrance where you will also find the brightly lit carousel.
Entertainment takes place 4:30 to 9:30 pm weekdays and 12-9:30 weekends. I had an early bird ticket, so I can’t comment on this, but I have seen excellent entertainment in previous pre-COVID years when dancing was still a thing. I’m sure they’ll make do with the new restrictions.
Vancouver Christmas Market Tickets
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